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Mozel Sanders volunteer delivers Thanksgiving dinners for nearly 50 years

Mozel Sanders volunteer delivers Thanksgiving dinners for nearly 50 years

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — WISH-TV is proud to once again partner with the Mozel Sanders Foundation for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner delivery. But the deadline draws near to take part in this opportunity.

The Thanksgiving meal is made possible by generous donations and the hard work of volunteers.

Otis J. Riggins Jr. has been delivering Thanksgiving dinners since 1975. Riggins met Mozel Sanders, pastor of Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church after serving in the Navy.

Riggins said, “You would see on Thanksgiving a lot of activity going on in the kitchen. Mozel was the kind of guy that would put on a white apron around his neck and he would be in there cooking and fixing meals and I think it really touched my heart when I saw him out there bringing food to the homeless.”

In 2022, the nonprofit gave away nearly 10,000 dinners. Today, the Mozel Sanders Foundation still relies on help from volunteers.

Riggins said, “I never know what we’re going to have until we get there because it’s always new people showing up but I can tell you I’ve seen in the room 100 plus drivers. I’ve seen more than that. In times past, we used to have oh my goodness almost 4-500 drivers back in the day.”

Riggins says he remembers the day he promised himself that he would never stop delivering Thanksgiving meals. He was shoveling his car out of the snow during a blizzard to drop off warm dinners, and delivered a meal to a woman who would change his life.

He said, “She put her dog up. She came back and she had on a coat, I kid you not, with a scarf on in her house. When she opened the door, she asked me to step in. I stepped in, and there was no furniture, it was a shabby house. It had a wood stove and it was cold, no wood in there. I could see in the kitchen. It was shabby, no evidence of food anywhere.

“I looked at her and it really touched my heart. I said ‘Ma’am, I’ll be right back.’ I went back to the car and got seven more meals for her and her dog. She looked at me, she smiled and she had a tear in her eye. When I went back to my car, it locked me in. I will do this until the good Lord calls me home,” he said.

Call the Mozel Sanders Foundation at 317-636-7985 by Wednesday to place an order. People can also text MOZEL to 53-555 or visit their website to donate. A $20 donation will feed a family of four.

The Mozel Sanders Foundation is still looking for volunteers to assist with packaging, preparing, and delivering dinners on Thanksgiving Day at Butler University’s Atherton Hall.

Volunteers can sign up before the event here.

WISH-TV is proud to partner with Financial Center First Credit Union to support the Mozel Sanders Foundation.